From Premise to Published: On Your Mark, Get Set...
Well, my friends, if you have followed along with me from my very first tip to now, thank you. This was meant to be a blog series spotlighting ten tips on how to navigate the path to becoming published, and obviously, we are almost there.
The bits and pieces I have shared with you were not meant to be the sum total on each subject. After all, an untold number of books have been written about each category and terabytes of data fill cyberspace with more information than one could possibly know. This was more about whetting your appetite for what could be and perhaps giving you a jumping off place to begin your own adventure into writing. I truly hope I helped, even if just a little.
What comes after a book is written is almost as important as writing the book itself. There is still much to be done. Today’s author is as much a part of the process of promoting their book as the publisher is.
Originally, I wrote this blog in April. My picture book, The Three Little Sprigs, is set to be released this July. Between then and now, I needed to compose a plan for the release. My publisher will make it available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop, as well as their website. They will advertise it in their newsletter and on a few other platforms. Unfortunately, that alone will not be enough. So, what else can I do?
I started to make a list of questions I needed to find answers to:
Who can I tell about my book?
Who might allow me to come and read my book?
Who might read my book and tell others about it?
What are some of the online sites I should be looking at? Amazon author’s page, GoodReads, BookBub, and KidLit411 are great places to start, although some of these are specific to children's writers. I started by looking where books similar to mine were already being sold.
Will a few of the local cafes in my area allow me to do a book signing? I performed for decades at schools and libraries...might they be interested in my book? What stores tend to cater to local artists? When and where is the next book fair?
There are so many ways to go, I get dizzy! But once I had a release date, I was able to move forward with a plan. I wanted to be prepared, to be able to give potential readers a card or a bookmark and say, “You can order my book online at...”
I have a niche and I want to be able to use it. My story takes place in a Woodland Kingdom so, I made sure to include a glossary in the back with a few science-related words used in the book. I have a program in mind where I read a portion of the book, sing a song I wrote years ago (The Earth Needs Green), hand out a few coloring pages, and end with sending each kid home will a cup filled with a few seeds and just enough dirt. Who might like this program? A school, library, garden club, arboretum, book fair...?
It's not easy to just pop up and say, “Hey, I wr!ote a book! You want it?”
But, you have to start somewhere. I’m revving up the engine, checking my mirrors, fastening my seatbelt, and getting ready for what lies ahead. I’ll use my friends, my church, and my experience as a children’s entertainer to ensure I'm doing everything I can to help my book become a success.